Women’s Day: Marchers demand better healthcare, end to patriarchy

34

Women, men, and transgender people marched here at Frere Hall against patriarchy in connection with the International Women’s Day. Aurat March is held every year on this day.

This time, the marchers have asked for better healthcare facilities for everyone as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the stark inequalities in our society,” said the Feminist Manifesto on Health released by Aurat March. “Globally, we found the heart of society to be diseased.

Diseased with injustice and inequality, with patriarchy and violence on gendered bodies, with vast inequalities and capitalism, and with the dehumanisation of races and ethnicities. Our collective body was in pain.”

People started gathering at Frere Hall well ahead of the scheduled time with men not allowed at the march unless there is a woman with them.Over 80 police officers were stationed for security.

The marchers walked from Frere Hall to Metropole from 4:30pm to 5pm, said SP Zahida who was deployed there to ensure the security of the people.

Rukhsana Parveen Khokharsaid that women play an important role in the cultivation of crops but are not given the credit they receive.

She brought her four-year-old daughter to the march and said that she’s here because she wants to ride motorcycles.There has hardly been any discussion on marital rape, said a participant.

“This year I’m marching so that a law is passed for the victims of marital rape,” she added.

Participants of the Aurat March staged a sit-in at the Metropole and announced their demands.

The marchers, however, dispersed after an hour.